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Thread: Relactation at 6 months (newly diagnosed Hypothyroidism)

  1. #1

    Default Relactation at 6 months (newly diagnosed Hypothyroidism)

    My son is six months old. From the beginning I wanted to breastfeed so badly, but could never get more than 1.5 oz from both breasts no matter what I did. Eventually I had to supplement with formula because he was a "failure to thrive" baby. After a while the milk just didn't come. So I had to switch to formula completely.
    I never got good advice about how to breastfeed. (No one I know bf, they all used formula) And my thyroid was never in question, so I just felt like a failure. I tried re-lactating at around 4 months but it didn't work.
    Now about a week ago I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. I feel like this is why I couldn't produce milk. To this very day I struggle with my feelings of guilt and failure because I couldn't bf. I'm medicine now for the hypothyroidism. Is it possible at all to re-lactate? I'd never dream of exclusively doing it at this point, but even half and half would be a miracle to me. Is there any hope at all or should I just learn to accept my circumstances?

    Kilie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    22,245

    Default Re: Relactation at 6 months (newly diagnosed Hypothyroidism)

    Welcome to the forum! It is always possible to make more milk, provided that there is no physical barrier to increasing supply (e.g. thyroid condition, pregnancy, use of certain forms of hormonal contraception). Milk supply = demand. So the more often your breasts receive stimulation from the baby or pump, and the more completely the breast is drained when milk is present, the more milk you will make.

    The best way to relactate is to have a baby who will nurse enthusiastically, and to combine that with pumping if at all possible. If the baby won't nurse or isn't a good nurser, you're going to need to rely on the pump. You want an excellent double electric pump, preferably a hospital-grade rental, with correctly sized shields, and you're going to want to use it 8-12 times a day, or more if possible. Don't worry if you can't always get that much pumping done- every little bit helps! Aim for 15-20 minute sessions, but again, don't worry if you can't always do that much. Pumping in the middle of the night is really helpful, so try to make some of those pump sessions happen in the wee hours.

    Since you just started Synthroid or levothyroxine or whatever, please be patient with your body. It takes time for the replacement hormone to really kick in and get your systems functioning again. And I assume that your doctor started you on a low dose- 25, maybe 50 mcg? It may take a few months before you are up to the right dose. So getting more milk might take time. Your goal is realistic, though! And every little bit of milk helps? Breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Relactation at 6 months (newly diagnosed Hypothyroidism)

    Hi Kilie,

    I am in a similar boat to you with a 6 month old baby, and am hoping to relactate after recently being diagnosed with hypothyroidsm. My milk dried up at 8 weeks even though I was exclusively breastfeeding my little girl. Nothing I could do helped, so I'm hopeful that THIS is the cause, and that once I get the right thyroid hormone levels I will be able to breastfeed again...

    I'm replying to your post because I'm interested to hear whether you pursued this and if so, whether it worked??

    Thanks,
    Leanne

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